Category Archives: Tea Party

Organization Analysis and Work Orientation

Following is a white paper that tea party members and leaders can use to hone their organizational and leadership skills.  I hope you find it helpful.

Executive and management skills are often viewed exclusively as talents, things that some people just do naturally.  But they are skills and anyone can increase their abilities to lead, manage and produce with a little effort.  All organizational and individual efforts require 3 fundamental orientations, or viewpoints from which to view and engage the activity to a successful result.  The skill with which one is able to apply these approaches to any endeavor determines your level of success.  You use these tools well in all areas where you are very successful, and not so well in areas where you are frustrated.

You can use this logic model to evaluate and improve your performance in any area of life and to provide guidance and leadership to others.

Three Fundamental Orientations

–        Task Oriented: A task is an action or series of actions.  It is production.  Workers are most comfortable with this work style, from assembly workers, to mechanics to pilots and doctors.  People who like to “do” things.

–        Process Oriented:  A process is the methodology of production; it is coordinating and managing resources as well as directing the flow of production, the way things are produced.  Managers are most comfortable with process oriented work.

–        Results Oriented:  A result is the end product of tasks executed to completion via an organized methodology.  It is identifying and naming the goals and establishing the vision.  Executives are most comfortable with results oriented work.

Orientation and Organization Analysis

Whenever an organization is experiencing frustration, discord, inefficiency or excessive emergencies, look for an imbalance in these three factors, and it will lead you to the source of the problem and help identify the solution to help increase efficiency, morale and results.

–        While most jobs are dominated by one of the 3 orientations, every job encompasses components of all three orientations.  Excellence requires the ability to use all 3 appropriately.

–        Most people have a favorite work orientation, with which they are most comfortable, but everyone can increase their ability to apply any of the 3 orientations to a given situation.  It is really just a point of view and anyone can change their point of view.

–        Using judgment and your existing expertise, you can use this analytic logic model to identify and improve any organizational sphere, from a single job to a large multi-group organization.

Some General Guidelines

New or young organizations tend to be weak in Management and Productions areas of  Process and Task Orientations.  It is critical for the group to adopt and broadly publish vision and mission statements to identify the Results desired.  Next, it will be necessary to develop programs and processes.  Many tea parties have members who have considerable executive or management skills, but who do not have sufficient time to engage in a leadership role.  Work to identify those individuals and see if they can provide consulting advice and guidance to the leaders.  Always assess the skills of your membership and make every effort to help members find a role within the organization for which they are well suited.  People always prefer to do things that they do well, and are much more willing to participate in activities outside their zone of comfort if they are also utilized in areas where they are already strong.   You wouldn’t use a sports car to move furniture, nor would you use a moving van to run a drag race.

More mature organizations can tend to get process heavy where people are changing too much for the sake of change.  Very mature organizations can lose sight of the vision, or once the initial vision is fulfilled to fail to generate a new vision and goal.    The best example of this is the civil rights movement which has fallen so far as to start creating false civil rights violations to protest, and degenerated into race baiters from a once noble endeavor.

Examples of Misapplied Orientation

–        Worker responding to request with obstacles and reasons why it can’t be done:  Results orientation when task orientation is needed.  The worker wants the answers to the issues it is his job to address, but is delegating up, asking the supervisor to do his work.

–        Manager responding to request for necessary resources with demand for completion.  Results orientation when process orientation is needed.  If the worker does not have sufficient material, resources or authority to complete a task, it is the manager’s job to allocate the appropriate resources.

–        Manager practicing micro-management:  Task oriented when process orientation is needed.  The manager is only addressing the tasks, rather than assigning resources and directing overall process.

–        Executive engaging in debate over how a project should be executed:  Process orientation instead of results orientation.  The executive is doing the manager’s job instead of rejecting a proposal which is not defined clearly enough for an approval or rejection.

–        Worker delaying production until it can be perfected to an unrealistic or unnecessary level.  Process oriented when task orientation is needed.  Sometimes, the job just needs to be done.  The correct solution is to do the job and submit a report on problems with a recommendation for process improvement.

How Can I use this Information to become more effective

The best way to drill this information is to start with processes and tasks with which you are very familiar.  Select anything at which you are already very expert and break it down into Results (vision), Process (methodology) and Tasks (individual steps).

Make a cup of coffee:

Executive:  Vision of a steaming cup of hot coffee and the executive decision to obtain one.

Manager:  Ensure the necessary materials and supplies are available.

Task:  Prepare the coffee.

If you ask someone who is totally task oriented to get a cup of coffee, you might not get one.

If they only know the Corey coffee maker they can only get a cup of coffee if you have the equipment they are already familiar with.

A person who is totally task oriented will do the following:

  1. Put the coffee pack into the coffee maker drip container.
  2. Pour cold water into the water cavity of the coffee maker.
  3. Put a cup or pot onto the hotplate beneath the drip container.
  4. Push the Start button.

Someone who is totally task oriented and does not understand the process will be unable to make coffee if he/she doesn’t have one of the familiar tools, coffee maker, coffee pack, electricity.  But someone who truly understands what it takes to make a good cup of coffee will not be stopped by a lack of familiar materials.

Some things are essential.  In order to make a good cup of coffee, you need coffee grounds, water, a fireproof container and sufficient heat to boil the water, a means of filtering out the grounds.

You can boil water in a pan, pour in the grounds and let it steep then filter it through a loose weave cloth into a cup or pot.  And, you can do this with a camp fire and a pan, or you can get an espresso maker and go all high tech.

And someone who is really stumped with missing resources/supplies or broken equipment, will simply  get in the car and drive to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks or 7/11 and buy a cup.

There are a lot of ways to solve the problem, and the better versed a person is in the nature of coffee and availability of materials and resources, the greater the certainty that he will actually obtain the result.

In the areas where you are highly expert, you shift from Results Oriented, to Process Oriented to Task Oriented fluidly as necessary, without even thinking about it.  It has become second nature.  To learn these orientations, for 1-2 weeks, stop what you are doing 5-6 times a day and identify which orientation you are using at any given time.

Following are a set of drills to work on for 2 weeks each.  The assumption is that you will not be focusing your attention on this for more than a few minutes a few times a day.  A little attention a few times a day over a period of weeks will give you far more skill than drilling it intensively examining everything that you do against this logic.  Over-analysis of your own behavior will have you second guessing yourself and undermine the very skills and abilities the drill is supposed to enhance.

Week 1-2

Applying this logic to areas where you are already expert, will increase your ability with the subject matter.  You should feel confident that you can always identify which work orientation you are using at any given time.

Determine which orientation you enjoy the most.  Start paying attention to opportunities to utilize the orientations you don’t like as much.  The more familiar and comfortable you are with all 3, the more effective you will become at any endeavor.

Week 3-4

Start observing others’ activities and behavior.  What orientation are they employing in their various activities? Before you can even consider identifying which orientation they should use, you must first become proficient in identifying which IS being used.

Again, do not over apply this information lest you become hyper-critical.  Everyone is doing their best most of the time.  You are observing periodically throughout the day not constantly.  The idea is to develop a skill, not a habit.

Week 5-6

Start paying specific attention to problem areas and identify which orientation is being used, and which would solve the problem.  Now you can start troubleshooting activities based on this information.

When people tell you their problems, start applying this logic.  Is there a vision or an end result?  Does the person know what the result would look like if the problem were solved?  Has the person identified the proper resources and materials to achieve the result?  What needs to actually happen to produce the result?

If nothing else, using this methodology for problem solving will enable you to rapidly identify the person who revels in his/her unsolvable problems.  As you start breaking it down with the appropriate questions, the person who is savoring and enjoying their problem will start to obstruct and refuse to participate in identifying the solution.  You can breathe a sigh of relief…this is not a person in distress who needs your aid.  This is a person who uses problems to get attention or to delegate their personal responsibility to you, or society, etc.  You don’t have to worry about them, they are already in 7th heaven, and you can go about your more productive business with a clear conscience and light heart.

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Restore our House

When an information system breaks down, there are two fundamental ways to fix it.  The first and easiest is to simply write more code to counter the erroneous behavior.  The more this solution is used, the more complex the system becomes and the more the real problem is obfuscated.  The second way, the correct way, is to dig down into the system and locate the source code that is causing the problems.  Then, correct that code.  It takes longer in the short term, but it solves the problem permanently and keeps the system functioning efficiently, clean, easy to maintain and to understand.

Our governmental system is breaking down.  It has been for over a century.  Each time the House changes hands, more and more legislation is added to correct the problems generated by the previous generation of legislation.

Programmers like to write code, legislators like to write legislation.  To date, Republicans and Democrats, Conservatives and Liberals alike keep imposing more and more legislation to fix the problems.  But it never gets solved because no one has gone back and examined what caused the deterioration in the first place.

I have now done that research.  The problem and solution follow.  It will shock you.  You will say it can’t be done.  It is just as radical today as it was over 230 years ago when it was first proposed, perhaps more so.  It has been so long that it is a new idea again.  It is so simple it is almost frightening, but it must be done.

If you are a sincere patriot who is more interested in solving our nation’s problems than in exploiting them them, please help restore our House to true Citizen Statesmen and Stateswomen.

Recipe for Tyranny

In 1911, House membership reached 435.  Two years later, in 1913, the 16th Amendment granted the Federal Government the right to tax “income” (though the exact definition of “income” remains in some dispute).  In 1929 the number of Representatives in the House was limited to 435 by a House Rule.

These events created two divergent statistics that have reached critical mass in their relationship.

The two statistics are:

1.  Per capita representation in Congress which is going down. At present, with a population of over 306,000,000 and approximately 435 members in the House of Representatives, we have 1 legislator for every 700,000 citizens. When the Constitution was written, it stated “The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000, but each State shall have at Least one Representative;”

2.  Federal revenues from income tax are going steadily up. The liberal desire to “spread the wealth” may have some merit. By one revenue chart, in 2006, 40% of the GDP of our entire nation under the unilateral and discretionary control of 535 people who are more answerable to campaign contributors and lobbyists than to their constituents.

This is a recipe for tyranny. Whether it results in an oligarchy that engages in socialism, communism or any other ism is immaterial. Losing our right to control our individual and national destiny is a problem that warrants attention and action.  Our Representative Republic is already gone.  It has already deteriorated into an oligarchy.  Until it is restored, our nation will continue to deteriorate despite the best of intentions.  Even under conservative leadership it will continue to deteriorate as we saw under the Bush administration.

The Citizen Statesman and Self-Government

The purpose of the lower house, the House of Representatives, is to ensure self government by the Citizens of the United States of America. The House was to be composed of citizen statesmen, not professional or career politicians. The term is only for 2 years for multiple reasons, to prevent too long of an interruption in the citizen statesman’s career, and also to prevent complacency and self indulgence from taking root.

This body of citizen statesmen is the only arm of the government empowered to introduce new legislation to raise revenues. Yet, our President has just this year demanded such of them, and they have complied against the will of the people they allegedly represent.

The Constitution was so designed that all laws are to originate with the people, via Congress, not the President or the Courts.

The upper house, the Senate was to be composed of longer term, career statesmen who can provide balance and guidance to the members of the House. Neither the executive branch nor the judicial branch is empowered to introduce new legislation, only Congress. And that lower house was to be composed, not of politicians, but of citizens.

With each Representative representing a constituency of over 700,000, it is no longer possible for a common citizen to communicate effectively with enough of these people to acquire a majority or plurality of votes.  Thus, in 2008, we saw the majority of incumbents in Congress, with record public disapproval ratings; retain their seats in both houses.

Only career politicians or the independently wealthy are able to run for office successfully.  People who need to work fulltime jobs are prohibited by logistics from office.  This is the greatest tragedy and the single greatest reason for the deterioration of our republic to an oligarchy.  We must reduce the ratio of citizens to representatives to a level which will enable an average working citizen to campaign and fund-raise on a part-time basis and be able to win.  If it means enlarging the House of Representatives to a full 10,000 members, to the level of 30,000 citizens per representative, then so be it.

Antidote to Tyranny

  1. Repeal the House Rule that restricts membership to the House to 435 members.
  2. Split each district 7 ways to achieve a ratio of 1 Representative for every 100,000 citizens.
    1. The redistricting could be done all at once, or gradually, first splitting a district in half and double membership, and one or two terms later, split the new districts again until the designated ratio is achieved.
  3. The Representatives for each supra-district would elect from among themselves a Speaker of the District, who would represent the District in Washington.
    1. Each district could determine the frequency of rotating the position of Speaker for the District.  It could be every 6 months, annually, or for the duration of each 2-year term.
    2. The pay/salary for Representatives could be significantly reduced, and the Speaker for each district could be issued a per diem and/or expense account to cover the costs of residing in Washington.
  4. All other Representatives would office in their home districts and participate in voting and debates electronically.
  5. When a roll is called, each home district representative would submit his vote to the Speaker for the District, and upon being called, the District Speaker would call the number of Ayes, Nays and Abstentions.

Benefits:

1.  Restore the concept of the citizen statesman.  At present it is nearly impossible for an average citizen to successfully communicate with 700,000 voters to achieve a majority.  Only the independently wealthy and/or career politicians can mount a successful campaign thus logistically prohibiting the participation of true citizen statesmen and women in the House.

2.  Eliminate the abuses of lobbying.  With the entire membership of the House in Washington, D.C. for most of the year, constituents have very little access to their representatives, but they are all in one place where lobbyists have nearly exclusive and cost effective access to the Representatives of the people.  By distributing the vast majority, 6 out of 7 Representatives per supra-district, throughout the nation evenly, it would be cost prohibitive for lobbyists to exert influence over our Representatives.

3.  Eliminate back-room deals.  It would become nearly impossible for the administration or any group to successfully create voting blocs as the Speakers for the Districts would have no control over the voting of the local Representatives.

4.  Effective communication between Representatives and their constituents.  All citizens would be within 1-2 hours drive of their representative and could visit them easily to communicate their concerns and wishes regarding current legislation.

5.  Pre-empt the need for term limits.

This is a rough outline of how we can restore our representative republic with the smallest and most dramatic change possible.  The details can be worked out by the House once it is again composed of true citizen statesmen and women.  There are many Representatives right now who do meet that description despite the odds, but with the existing structure, corrupted nearly a century ago, they remain under chronic, heavy assault by special interests and inaccessible to their constituents despite their best efforts.

Please think these thoughts through.  Perhaps this general program can be refined and improved.  The goal is simply a representative republic, with the lower House populated by true citizen statesmen and women.

The true beauty of this solution is that all that is required to make it happen is the revocation of a single house rule.  We don’t need to amend the Constitution or engage in extreme or complex legislation.  Repeal that rule.  Restore the Republic.

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Filed under Conservatism, Conservative Action Plan, Constitution, Patriotism, Tea Party

Can you hear us now?

Yes, I was there.  Yes, it was amazing.

The most telling sign was the one with a man holding a megaphone shouting “Can you hear us now?”  Since 9/12/2009, the message from the President, from Congress and from the media has been a very resounding “No!”

912MarchOnDC_Me2

As this very wide angle photo of the protest shows, there probably was in excess of 2,000,000 people there.  As a participant, it was not possible, from a person’s eye view to see everyone, to even get a grasp of the magnitude of the protest.  When we saw estimates in the tens of thousands, we knew that was hooey, but 2.7 million, well that sounded like wishful thinking…until I saw this photo.

The interviews that are missing are the interviews of the hotel staffs where many of us spend the night, the restaurant maitre d’s where we went for lunch after the march.  Find out what they think of the tea party patriots.  Do we deserve the vitriol spewed at us?  Are we just a bunch of crankypants, old bigots who are suffering the death throes of our cherished white supremacism?

No, we are the people who fought and died to arrive on these shores.  We are the people who began protesting slavery over 400 years ago when we first learned of it.  We are the people who flooded the shores of Normandy and left a carpet of dead behind us.  We are the people who passed civil rights legislation in opposition to the Democrat party time and time again, only to watch them ignore it and fund the KKK to kill our fellow citizens, black and white.  We are the people who cared for and fed one another during the depression.  We are the people who love this nation for what it was, for what it is and for what it can be.

It will not be another failed socialist state.  That is not an option.

Since 9/12, Acorn has been defunded and the nationalization of health care has been pretty much derailed.  Both can be resuscitated if we stop watching, and we know it.  We are no less vigilant today than we were on 9/12/2009 or 9/12/2001.  We know when we and our nation are in jeopardy.  And we will not close both eyes simultaneously as long as we are.

Call us whatever names you want.   We were all bullied in school just like everyone else…in fact if you talk to most of the bullies, they thought they were bullied too.  We learned how to deal with it.  We learned that words from someone else’s mouth cannot harm us without our agreement.  We may have cried over it, but we didn’t forfeit our identity over it, and we did not become weak or embittered over it.  So go ahead, spread your vitriol and spew your malice.  We don’t care what you think or say because you have long since forfeited our respect.

As I  posted before, we want a laissez faire government, and we want to go back to our lives, our children our homes, hobbies and dreams.  We won’t do it though, until we know it is safe to do so.  And the longer it takes, the more annoyed we are going to become.  Just because we are not the kind of violent, degraded, debauched people who populate liberal protests, do not think we cannot make our weight felt.  We will find a way, it will be legal, but that doesn’t mean it will be pleasant for the people assaulting our nation and Constitution.

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Filed under Patriotism, Tea Party